Tom Hanks tweeted this photo with the caption: “Again, to me this photo is the spirit of Pittsburgh- with a broken heart today for those in Squirrel Hill … Hanx”

On Twitter, most of the time, all I do is “Like” cat memes. So I was hesitant to press “Like” for a tweet by poet G. Calvocoressi, because their experience is so different from mine.

This poet inspired me during a MOOC (massive open online course) on poetry last year.

They wrote: “Full of love. Free of pronouns. Proud of this many gendered Vessel. Full of anger and fight and alive. Existing. Here. #TransRightsAreHumanRights #Resist.”

How can I click “Like” on such a momentous, meaningful tweet, and in the next breath, “Heart” Curious Zelda?

Who am I? is what I thought.

This isn’t my battle. I’m not a member of their community. Would it be seen as pandering? Not genuine? I thought about the old trope that posers use: “Some of my best friends are _________” Fill in the blank. Black. Gay. Jewish. Whatever group that person really disdains.

But the thing is….some of my favorite poets are members of the LGBTQ community: Carl Phillips, Danez Smith, Mary Oliver. So how can one express appreciation, even solidarity, when not part of the group in question?

By supporting their right to point out that the system isn’t working on their behalf. In doing so, the gains they achieve might make life better for all of us.

I decided to press “Like.” Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and live life on their own terms. Maybe in America, it doesn’t feel like that notion is true, but I believe it will again someday. These may not be my issues, but one thing I know for sure: these are my neighbors.

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